Tuck Everlasting: A re-read from my childhood

tuck everlasting ft image

So this review is technically cheating because I’ve already read Tuck Everlasting. I may have read it ~10 years ago but still. So I thought I could tell y’all what I remember from the first time around to what I think now that I’m an adult.

Is it ok for kids? Definitely!

Things I remember about Tuck Everlasting from reading it as a child:

  • Jesse was my ideal book boyfriend (I have a lot of them)
  • the family is immortal
  • It was cute that Jesse wanted to marry Winnie after she grew up a bit more
  • the ending was weird
  • what is up with the frog? Why is he there?
  • the family is really sweet

Plot:

It starts with a mystery, three events, and a promise to connect them all at the end. You don’t know anyone yet, but doesn’t that make it more exciting? Chapter 2 introduces you to a couple. Their boys are coming home soon and it casually drops the entire family is immortal. Enter Winnie Foster, she finds a boy named Jesse Tuck drinking out of a spring. Little does she know, Jesse, like the rest of his family, is immortal because they drank from the spring many years ago. Since Winnie now knows the family secret, they kidnap her to try to convince her to not tell it.

You can’t just kidnap a kid, Tuck family

Meanwhile, a man in a yellow suit has found them and has reported back to the family and the authorities. Winnie’s family gave him ownership of the forest as a reward for their daughter’s safe return. The man beats the cops to the house where the Tucks live in the forest. He threatens to spill the secret of the spring to the entire world so everyone can be immortal forever and Mae (Jesse’s mom) kinda panics and kills the man…just in time for the cop to show up.

She’s returned

The kidnapping presses are dropped because Winnie says she went with them willingly. Mae goes to jail. Naturally, Winnie is returned to her family and it goes back to business as usual. Jesse stops by because Mae can’t go to the gallows and says they are breaking her out of jail that night. Winnie says she wants to help and he gives her a vial of the spring water so she can join them when she’s older since the Tucks will have to leave town for a while. Whether she drinks the vial or not, I will not tell you. You can read the book, it’s not that long.

Analysis time of Tuck Everlasting…

In the back of my copy, it has a little Q and A where the author, Ms. Babbitt states Winnie is most like her as a child. Winnie is a child that seems wise beyond her years. She grew up in a strict family that seems to want her to be a proper lady. Comparatively, the Tucks are much laxer in their lifestyle. Winnie comments on their messy house and their table manners. Yet she seems to feel more at home amongst the Tucks than her own family.

Tuck Breakdown

The Tucks are clearly willing to do anything to protect their secret to immortality, and each has its own method of convincing. Mae is soft in her approach. Angus (husband) is harder and talks about how much he wishes he could die but can’t. Miles (eldest) talks about the family he once had and how immortality tore it apart. Jesse talks about how lonely it is and offers for Winnie to marry him when she’s 17 and become immortal with him. Either way, they all resorted to kidnapping and/or murder.

How does Winnnie feel?

My question is how much of Winnie’s love for the Tuck family is a form of Stockholm syndrome? Her family is neglectful. She is a loner. Winnie could just be attention/affection starved. The Tucks took her in. They fed her food and were warm whereas her family is cold. Yet it’s my belief these two families aren’t opposites. They both are stagnant in some way. The Fosters are stagnant in the sense nothing really happens as they are a proud family with a reputation to protect. The Tucks are stagnant due to immortality but also in an innovation sense. There’s an epilogue where the town has changed and there are cars now. The Tucks haven’t changed. Their clothes, hair, and mode of transportation have been the same forever.

Let’s talk about one of my book boyfriends for a second…

He’s a smooth talker, I’ll give him that. When he opened his mouth, I saw what younger me saw in him. He’s earnest too and seems to genuinely care about Winnie. However, Jesse is 104 according to Wikipedia (because that’s a credible source). Why is a 104-year-old man hitting on a 10-year-old? That’s wrong. Ew. Jesse, you may look like you’re 17 but dude. It also ties back to my theory about the Tuck’s intentions. Does he really care about her or is she the first outsider to know their secret and he’s hungry for a partner? Food for thought.

Can I also mention how the book talks about scenery? I don’t know very many 10-year-olds who take in nature that much. Maybe it was more common in the time period the book takes place. I have a love-hate relationship with Winnie’s choice. I’m glad she chooses the way she does but I feel like if her family life is all that defines her, it was a waste of what she could be.

Final Thoughts:

So I didn’t know they made a movie and a Broadway musical off of Tuck Everlasting. Isn’t that cool? I’ll be covering it soon!

Thank you for reading my take on “Tuck Everlasting”, I appreciate it. Comment below what you would choose: immortality or mortality. If you like my content, consider subscribing to my mailing list and if you want a review on something similar, click here.

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